What is upper back pain?
Given that the upper back bears far less weight than the lower back, it is generally less vulnerable to injury. As a result, upper back pain tends to be much less common than lower back pain. Patients that do experience upper back pain frequently find it to be debilitating.
The upper back runs from the base of the neck to the bottom of the rib cage, and a number of underlying causes or conditions can produce chronic pain in the area. Overuse (usually due to poor posture) is one of the most common causes of upper back pain, although it can also sometimes be attributed to a pinched nerve, a herniated disc, osteoarthritis, or even gallbladder issues.
What causes upper back pain?
Typically, upper back pain is due to either overuse or another underlying condition. Overuse injuries occur when the muscles, ligaments, and discs that support the spine become strained or injured. This may occur if the patient participates in an activity that places stress on the upper back or if the patient has poor posture.
Conditions that can cause upper back pain include spinal nerve problems, including a pinched nerve or a herniated disc. Osteoarthritis, myofascial pain, or a vertebral fracture could also cause upper back pain. Finally, upper back pain can also be a symptom of gallbladder disease, cancer, or a severe infection.
The most common causes of upper back pain include:
- Poor posture
- Spinal nerve problems
- Myofascial pain
Source: U of Michigan
Luna’s physical therapists treat
upper back pain
Luna employs Bay Area and Los Angeles-based physical therapists that specialize in treating patients with upper back pain. With a focus on helping the patient to safely, quickly, and comfortably return to the activities they love, our PTs formulate treatment plans that not only reduce pain and restore mobility but treat the underlying condition as well.
With at-home physical therapy from Luna, patients can receive physical therapy for upper back pain in the most convenient location imaginable. Our physical therapists will come to you — it’s physical therapy, delivered.